Definition of flying in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈflʌɪɪŋ/


1Moving or able to move through the air with wings: a flying ant
More example sentences
  • For example, a long history of hanging webs would mean spiders have been influencing the evolution of flying insects for millions of years.
  • Flight-line personnel moved from OMS into the tactical flying squadrons.
  • His name is Rocky, and he is a flying rooster from America who has escaped from a circus.
1.1Moving rapidly, especially through the air: one passenger was cut by flying glass
More example sentences
  • A couple of people suffered minor cuts from flying glass, but it was at the end of the night so there were not many people there.
  • She dodged the flying body and kicked Lars hard enough to crush his skull.
  • The close-quarter action photography with gristle and bone is spliced with dizzy shots of flying masonry launched by ginormous trebuchets.
1.2Done while launching oneself at someone: he took a flying kick at a policeman
More example sentences
  • Finally he launches himself into a flying rugby tackle and vanishes from view.
  • She launched herself in a flying tackle at Ian's midriff, knocking the wind out of him and sending the two to the ground.
  • I was innocently walking with my friend, when Stephen ran at me from behind, jumped up, and gave me a tremendous flying kick in the back.
1.3Hasty; brief: a flying visit
More example sentences
  • On Saturday, on his return from his brief and much publicised flying visit home to England, he repeated the message to a higher authority.
  • This unexpected visitor began to arrive at Mary Forde's home last week and after a flying visit in and out has now decided to set up home permanently.
  • I shall never forget that first flying visit to Dresden.
1.4Used in names of animals that can glide by using wing-like membranes or other structures, e.g. flying squirrel.


[mass noun]
Flight, especially in an aircraft: she hates flying
More example sentences
  • Joe was a TWA pilot and Rick flew corporate aircraft so flying must be in the Barker family genes.
  • Model aircraft flying is a training ground for serious pilots and the Lismore club has spawned a number of full time aviators.
  • ‘For me and for most cadets, the first challenge of the training is solo flying,’ Tu said.



go flying

informal, chiefly British Fall or be knocked over: Rob tripped over a branch and went flying
More example sentences
  • We went flying across the pavement and crashed straight through the front of a couple's house, ending up in their living room.
  • I jumped back, he threw me, and I went flying on top of the stand of hi-fis.
  • Buckets of water went flying, other players waded in for retribution.

with flying colours

With distinction: Sylvia had passed her exams with flying colours
More example sentences
  • Michael told me that he was sure I would pass all my exams with flying colors.
  • I'm sure she'll navigate the negative backlash with flying colors.
  • They had some big decisions to make this year, and came through with flying colors.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fly¦ing

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.